How to Clean a Suede Shoe

How to Clean a suede shoe

Suede shoes have been popular for longer than just a while. It is known to go with varieties of dress tones, from corporate to casual.

One downside of this type of shoe is that it is annoyingly difficult to clean. This is not so much of a surprise, due to it’s napped and fuzzy surface. 

Compared to other shoe materials, dirt can penetrate suede surface finishing more easily.

This makes it easier to get stained and so much more difficult to clean.

However, we will be giving you simple steps on how to clean your suede shoe and make it look new again.

Types of Shoe Stains

Generally, there are 3 types of dirt or stain that you might want to clean off your suede.

  1. Liquid Stains
  2. Dirt or Scuff Marks
  3. Special Stains

The Materials You Need

A suede brush
A Suede Brush
Suede sponge
A Suede Sponge
Eraser for shoe

Liquid Stain

Step 1:

Start by using a brush to gently wet the entire shoe.

The water is not to be applied too much, and the brush is not to be immersed completely in the water.

If applied too much, the water can decolourize the suede. But if applied properly, it can help clean the stains.

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Step 2:

Get a sponge (or neat dry cloth) and use it to scrub the shoe gently to soak up excess water.

Do this until all parts of the shoe are equally wet. At this point, there is no visible water stain.

Step 3:

Fold some paper and stick inside the shoe to stop any excess water from soaking the inside.

Avoid using paper with printed information as the ink can stain the shoe as well.

Step 4:

Leave the shoes to dry.

Step 5:

Once this is done, scrub the shoe gently with a suede brush.

How to clean a suede shoe
Stained Suede Shoe

Dirt Stain

Materials Needed: Suede Brush, Suede Protector, Eraser.

Step 1:

Make sure the shoe is dry. Then scrub it gently to remove surface stains.

As you brush, make sure you maintain the same direction.

Step 2:

Brush vigorously back and forth to remove scuff marks.

Step 3:

If a mark proves too stubborn for the brush, use any pencil eraser you can find to get it off.

Step 4:

As soon as you’re sure they’re free from dirt, spray them with a suede protector to avoid further stains/dirt

Special Stains

The special stains we mean here are oil, ink, wax and so on.


Here, use warm water and a nail brush to scrub off the oil after using a suede brush to clean it first.

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An easy way to get wax stains out is to put the shoe in a freezer. After some hours, it will be hard enough to pull up.

This method also works for gum. And always clean the spot after with a suede brush.


Never let the ink dry on your suede. Clean it with a dry cloth. But if it does dry, you can use sandpaper or rubbing alcohol with cotton to clean the stain.

Blood Stains

Rub the the affected area with a cotton smeared in peroxide.


Allow mud to dry first. Then it becomes hard, like the wax from the freezer and you can get it out easily. Then scrub with the suede brush

N/B: You can also clean dry stains with steel wool. 

Suede is as good as any shoe you can get. All you have to do is keep it clean. Follow the steps above, and that shouldn’t be a problem.

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